This is an oldie but goodie however the information is still relevant. I’m in Los Angeles enjoying my family so check out my Facebook Fanpage for pics and tips from Los Angeles!

Paris is one of my favorite places in the world, but I’m guessing there are at least 5 things you probably didn’t know about Paris, this European city I called home for a few years. By the way, did you know I wrote a guidebook on Paris? Yep, you can get your copy here. The e-book is coming soon!

 

1. ALL CASHIERS SIT DOWN IN GROCERY STORES

Cashier sitting down

This is very common in Europe and South America, but typically not seen in North America. The first time I saw this I was in Spain and couldn’t believe that the cashier was actually sitting down. And on top of that, they absolutely will not bag your groceries, you have to do that yourself. This is something I tend to forget and the last time I went to Paris I stood at the checkout counter for a few seconds looking at the cashier like she was crazy while she was giving me the same look back. I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t bagging my groceries and she was probably wondering why I wasn’t bagging my groceries. And then it dawned on me, “Oh yeah! You’re back in Europe. You have to bag your own groceries!” I tried to explain to the cashier what I had just remembered but she just kept looking at me, annoyed that I was holding up her line. Ah…the friendly French.

 

2. THERE IS A STRIKE ALMOST EVERY WEEK

Strike on the Champs Elysses

Seriously, I am not exaggerating, there is always a strike going on in Paris. This pic was taken on the Champs Elysses, the cops were striking. There were dozens of police cars lined up and down the Champs with their lights flashing and sirens blaring and traffic was backed up for miles. A strike, (or mani, as it’s called in Paris which is short for manifestation) can be anywhere, by any group of people at any time.

 

3. A FEW METRO LINES DO NOT HAVE DRIVERS

driverless metro

If you ride line 1 or line 14 in Paris, you will notice there isn’t a driver. It’s all handled remotely and the first time I got on it, I have to say I was a bit freaked out. It just seemed strange to be traveling at such high speeds with no one at the helm. And now when I go to Paris and ride either of these metros, I like to sit in the front car so I can get a great view of not looking at a driver.

 

4. THE MONA LISA IS VERY SMALL

The Mona Lisa

When I first saw the Mona Lisa I was blown away. I really couldn’t believe it was so small because I had heard so much about it all my life, I expected it to be huge. When I first saw the Mona Lisa I was only 18 (so just a few years ago…hee hee) and I remember standing in front of it (at that time it wasn’t behind glass, you could stand right in front of it and touch it if you wanted, which was part of the problem) and really trippin’ out that it was so small. And where it is now in The Louvre, it is directly across from a gigantic painting so it really makes The Mona Lisa seem tiny.

 

5. YOU CAN HAVE A PICNIC BEHIND THE EIFFEL TOWER

The Eiffel Tower

When the weather is nice, you will see many French people sitting around The Eiffel Tower, usually on the Champ des Mars with their blankets, wine, bread, cheese and anything else they find appetizing to enjoy a lovely lunch or dinner outside. Anyone can do this, it’s not limited to French people. It’s especially wonderful when you are there in the summer and the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm, and you can hear and see all the people out on the Champs des Mars enjoying the daylight and atmosphere.

 

Is there anything you know about Paris that you think other would be surprised to find out?

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Some people travel. Roni IS travel. For over 20 years she has been traveling the world and now shares her unique insight with her worldwide audience on her blog, www.RoniTheTravelGuru.com. Whether you have never gotten on a plane or are a seasoned traveler, the expertise and insider knowledge she shares on her blog will help you make your travels an adventure. No where else can you find the uniquely helpful ins and out given to you by someone who has lived overseas for 4 years, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, and works for a major airline. And guess what? She’s also a licensed elementary teacher and has an MBA.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I went to Paris over the summer there is a sixth point that may be of interest to you. There is a huge underground network of tunnels and catacombs running beneath the city. I am planning on writing a post about it soon (was going to do it today but got distracted by twitter/reading)

    • That is one attraction in Paris I have never been to because I am terrified! Many of my clients went there, but the thought of that frightens me. I will read your post on it for sure! Thanks for stopping by!

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